What is a baptism?

Baptism is a service that marks the beginning of someone’s journey in faith as they learn to walk with God. In the Church of England, we have been baptising babies for centuries. The baptism service, often called a christening, gives a parent the opportunity to thank God for the safe arrival of their child, and to  commit to bring their child up to learn about God within the church family.

Parents often find that the arrival of a new baby sets them thinking about how they want to bring up their child; how they want them to grow in body, mind and spirit, and learn the Christian values that they themselves were brought up with. It is part of your family’s walk with God when you explore having your child baptised, and we love supporting you in your thoughts and decisions about it.

Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Once you are baptised, you don’t need to be baptised again. The promises that parents and godparents make at a child’s baptism are made on their behalf. When the child is old enough to decide for themselves, they might chose to confirm their faith in a special service called confirmation. However if an adult hasn’t been baptised as a child, we would prepare them for baptism and welcome them into the church. You can be baptised at any age or stage of your journey with God – it is always a great celebration.

If you are thinking about baptising your child, or getting baptised as an adult, please contact us. We will prepare for baptism by coming round and talking through your journey so far and about what baptism means for you.

Please contact Rev’d Dr Sarah Forrest, Priest in Charge:
07488 914972 / 01920 870115


The Church of England is a great source of information all about baptism. We do encourage you to take a look HERE.



We had a brilliant day yesterday. Thank you so much for arranging Darcey’s baptism. It was quite an emotional experience for many of the family.




Do parents have to be baptised?
You can have your child baptised regardless of whether or not you, the parents, are baptised. It is only the godparents who are required to be baptised, (so the only time a parent would have to be baptised is if they were also acting as a godparent).

Is a baptism different to a christening?
There is no difference between a christening service and a baptism service. Some churches will use the word ‘baptism’ and some the word ‘christening’. The moment when your child has water poured or wiped on their head is the actual baptism and is at the heart of the service.

Can anyone have a baptism service?
The Church of England welcomes all babies, children and families for baptism – whatever shape that family takes. You do not have to be married or have been a regular churchgoer – as  a parent, you do not even have to have been baptised yourself – though you could be.

At what age should a child be baptised?
There’s no specified minimum or maximum age for having a child baptised. When a child is baptised, the parents and godparents will make promises on their behalf. Older children (perhaps around the age of 12) may be mature enough to make the promises for themselves.

Do we have to have three godparents?
There should be at least three godparents at a baptism – two who are the same sex as the child and one who is the opposite sex. The Church of England laws about this will have been agreed long ago with the best interests of a child at heart, but the laws also allow for the different circumstances of families, so if three really cannot be found, then two will suffice. To ensure a child will have three godparents, it is possible for one or both of the parents to be godparents, so long as they are baptised themselves. Talk to us if you’re struggling to find three godparents and we will be pleased to advise you.

Do godparents have to be baptised?
Godparents are really important people at a baptism. They will make some big promises in church to support their godchild in their Christian faith for a lifetime. For this reason, a godparent must be baptised themselves and ideally confirmed too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their baptism/confirmation should have been in the Church of England. People who have been baptised in the Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed Church and other Christian denominations, can also be godparents at a Church of England baptism.

How much does it cost?
Baptisms are free, but if you want an organist, sometimes there is a fee to pay. We do ask for a collection plate at the baptism service to support the work of the church and to enable us to offer baptisms for free.